Pharrell Williams Takes Over Virgil Abloh’s Position at Louis Vuitton

It’s official: Pharrell is taking over the late Virgil Abloh’s role at Louis Vuitton

Pharrell Williams Takes Over Virgil Abloh's Position at Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton names Pharrell Williams as men’s creative director.

Pharrell Williams has been announced as the new men’s creative director for Louis Vuitton, succeeding the late Virgil Abloh. The news was initially confirmed by the longstanding French newspaper Le Figaro on February 14, before being officially announced by Pharrell and Louis Vuitton.

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell’s appointment as Louis Vuitton’s new permanent head of menswear comes after Abloh’s passing in late 2021. It’s important to highlight that Pharrell’s new title is that of creative director, which differs from Abloh’s former position at Louis Vuitton as “artistic director.”

It’s true that within the fashion industry, the distinctions between creative director and artistic director can sometimes be ambiguous and do not necessarily indicate significant differences in their roles. Rather, both positions are generally responsible for conceptualizing and executing the overall aesthetic vision of their respective fashion house. This is now the responsibility that Pharrell will take on at Louis Vuitton.


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Pharrell cleared his Instagram page on February 14 in anticipation of the Louis Vuitton announcement, which was the only post that remained on his profile after the wipe.

“I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton, as our new Men’s Creative Director,” Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari, said in a statement.

“His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.”


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Pharrell’s inaugural Louis Vuitton collection is scheduled to premiere in June 2023 during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. The fact that the collection is set to debut in a few months suggests that Pharrell has likely been working with the Louis Vuitton menswear team for some time already, as fashion collections typically require many months of planning and preparation.

Throughout 2022, Louis Vuitton did not have a permanent creative or artistic director, and instead showcased collections that were designed by the remaining menswear design team. The fashion house also paid tribute to the late Abloh during this time.


Louis Vuitton’s most recent move was to bring on Colm Dillane, the founder of KidSuper, as a guest creative director to oversee a single menswear collection, Fall/Winter 2023. This collection was presented by Louis Vuitton in January 2023 as part of Paris Fashion Week.

When Louis Vuitton first announced Dillane’s appointment as guest creative director, it was made clear that his role was intended to be a one-time position for the Fall/Winter 2023 collection.


The search for Abloh’s potential successor at Louis Vuitton has been a topic of much discussion within the fashion industry since his passing. Rumors have circulated that Louis Vuitton executives were considering a number of candidates, including Martine Rose (who was apparently the frontrunner at one point), Chitose Abe, and Grace Wales Bonner.

While Pharrell may not have seemed like an obvious choice to take over as creative director, his close personal relationship with Abloh makes his appointment a feasible possibility.


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Pharrell currently oversees his own Billionaire Boy’s Club and ICE CREAM fashion labels, which, while not quite on the same level as Louis Vuitton, are certainly adjacent to Abloh’s streetwear aesthetic. Pharrell also has a notable history of working with major luxury brands in various capacities, which makes him a suitable candidate for the creative director position at Louis Vuitton.


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Pharrell has a history of collaboration with major luxury brands, including Chanel. In 2019, he designed a collection with Chanel and became the first male fashion ambassador for the iconic fashion house. Additionally, Pharrell is currently believed to be working on a collaborative collection with Tiffany & Co., which is owned by Louis Vuitton’s parent company, LVMH. In 2022, Pharrell revealed the collaboration with a pair of small sunglasses and has since been seen wearing them frequently.


It’s safe to say that Pharrell has demonstrated his capability to work with luxury brands. Moreover, similar to Virgil Abloh, Pharrell is largely self-taught in the fashion industry and was at the forefront of streetwear fashion. In fact, Pharrell was an early supporter of brands like BAPE, even before they gained significant traction outside of Japan. His background and experience in fashion make him a strong candidate for the creative director position at Louis Vuitton.

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